Head of the Communication Department

Updated: over 1 year ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.

This post is classified A6 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.

ESA Headquarters, Paris, France  


The Head of ESA Communication develops, establishes and strengthens engagement with diverse audiences through the lens of premium and innovative space stories, building and enhancing the Agency’s reputation and brand. High-quality reporting about the Agency’s technical and scientific work is a key objective. While ensuring a greater awareness of ESA’s programmes and activities, you will need to adapt and prioritise the messaging and publication agenda to a mix of audiences including the general public, the media, ESA Member States, political stakeholders, international partners and ESA’s own workforce.


If selected for this position, you will report directly to the Director General. As Head of the Communication Department, you will lead and coordinate the Agency’s communication team’s efforts to drive breakthrough storytelling and achieve the best possible coverage for ESA. You will synthesise the Agency’s strategy and storylines into communication activities and campaigns and develop action plans for the communication team. You will create backgrounders for journalists and content creators based on diverse inputs, including from programme directorates. You will manage a media relations team and catalyse engagement to support the Agency’s narrative including the voice of the Director General as expressed through his media and social media channels.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • establishing the Annual Communication Plan of the Agency and specific communication and crisis communication plans for ESA missions and launches, as well as supervising their implementation;
  • defining and implementing, in your role as Chief News Officer, the editorial news and content policy to establish a consolidated, up-to-date publishing agenda for all communication channels;
  • managing a network of Communication Programme Officers to ensure close coordination with all directorates and the Director General’s Services;
  • coordinating ESA communication activities for the Director General and the team of directors, and ensuring internal communication with the Agency workforce;
  • defining and managing the implementation of ESA policies on media relations and managing a newsroom supported by a group of ESA spokespersons, as well as defining and monitoring quarterly and annual KPIs for tracking media coverage across all Member States;
  • defining and managing the implementation of ESA policies on social media and maintaining a forward-looking social media strategy, including managing a network of social media influencers;
  • managing the Agency’s video, infographic and photographic production as well as the ESA Web Portal and ESA Web TV and their content in cooperation with the directorates concerned;
  • developing activities, including establishing co-branding partnerships with external entities, appropriate communication tools and communication material for the general promotion of ESA, in close collaboration with directorates and Heads of Establishment/Centre;
  • establishing, managing and maintaining ESA brand guidelines, the use of ESA’s image, the ESA Corporate Visual Identity and the ESA Editorial Style, as well as establishing appropriate communication and cobranding partnerships;
  • managing and ensuring the secretariat of the Advisory Committee on Communication with a view to reinforcing the network with the Heads of Communication in Member States’ delegations and conducting joint communication activities;
  • managing ESA’s presence at ESA strategic events, international exhibitions and fairs;
  • defining and managing policies for print and merchandising and licensing activities involving ESA’s image and setting up a network of European-based brick-and-mortar and online space shops;
  • assessing the impact of ESA’s communications, ensuring continuous improvement, and reporting annually to the ESA Council;
  • managing the human resources and budget allocated to communication activities.

Technical competencies

Understanding of the Agency's core business and structures and relationship to other Space Agencies and key partner organisations and institutions

Extensive knowledge of the space sector and of the Agency’s programmes and policies

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


You should have at least a master’s degree, preferably in communication, journalism or a similar discipline.

Additional requirements

You should have over 10 years of relevant experience in a similar position. Experience should include technical writing, project management, media relations, crisis communication, budget management, publishing and editorial, and event production.
You will be expected to demonstrate excellent planning and organisational skills together with the ability to deliver communication plans and activities on time and within budget. Other essential qualities are a strong customer focus, highly developed communication and policy development skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills, along with a proven ability to manage a team working with tight deadlines.

In addition, you should have:

  • proven experience of leading, motivating and developing a team;
  • the ability to provide strategic direction to the individuals and teams within the Department and to relate team objectives to the overall, evolving organisational goals and context;
  • the ability to drive performance and foster cooperation within and across teams throughout the organisation;
  • demonstrated excellent leadership, relationship management and communication skills, both oral and written;
  • a proven track record of representing the Agency’s interests to external interfaces;
  • excellent cognitive, analytical, delegation, planning and organisational skills;
  • the ability to anticipate problems, solve complex issues and relate situations to their context;
  • the ability to reach solution-oriented, pragmatic and timely decisions of a high standard and with integrity as well as to support others (team members, upper management, other stakeholders) in this process.

People management experience would be an asset, as would international experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework .  

For further information please visit: Professionals ,What we offer  and FAQ   

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required.
Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.  

Please note that applicants may be required to undergo psychometric testing and other assessments.  

At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us at [email protected] .


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service. 

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